Monday, January 19, 2009

On my soapbox

Sometimes I struggle to put something on my blog besides my kids. Besides being a mom. Besides being a housewife. Show the person I am behind all the labels. How I've wonderfully preserved my 'real' self. Like how I have interests outside of my family and how cool, hip and trendy I really am. Ha! Show how I do have hobbies besides figuring out the cheapest way to buy food.

But why would I want to omit all the parts that make me so colorful?

This is mostly so I don't scare anyone out of having children. So I can pretend that there is not this massive morphing that parenting requires.

Its like when you are pregnant and you vow to never talk about your pregnancy like you aren't ever thinking about it because you don't want to annoy everyone and be so one dimensional. Like your pregnancy doesn't define you, like its no big deal. (Which is what I always try to do, when really that is all you are ever thinking about) But if someone brings it up now....then its fair game.

But the fact is I haven't read any new books lately...which is something I like to do. (minus cookbooks, my scriptures...and the newspaper)

And I get a great thrill if my dinner turns out fantastic.

Or when my floor has been vacummed. And thinking about how my kids always scream and run when the vacumn is on. Or how they love when I 'suck' them up with the extension thingy.

And everything sounds a bit domestic and boring to the average person.

Here is my theory
, and I'm always coming up with theories. Sometimes they last and sometimes they are full of crap. Like the one about the first child always looking like the mom...that one was bunk. But this theory is standing thus far in my mind.

With one kid, you can pretend like you are the same person. Even though you might feel like your world has been rocked, really your former self can remain quite intact. (you might not realize this at the time though) Like how I took Luke to see Bend it like Beckham with me to the movies.

With two kids your hands are a bit fuller, you are feeling more like a 'real' family, whatever that means. You are thinking that one kid was totally easy and how much harder it is now. And you still saw 10:30 p.m. movies with friends in the middle of the week. Like when you saw Million Dollar Baby or Hotel Rwanda, both where you bawled your eyes out.

But with three there is nothing left. It takes all your energy to feed, clean, and shop for your little family. Feed, clean, shop, repeat. Every day. So whatever time you squeeze in for yourself is obviously deserved, but is rare. (like seeing Twilight with your friends) Which is fine, because now is not your time. Now is your time to give. Because you are serving your family. And really that is what makes you the coolest person on the planet, even if everyone is totally oblivious to this fact except those three souls whose world you create.

So to the ordinary person in the world your life might look very confining and dull (or not using your degree), but really your life is terribly interesting and full. How interesting to teach someone to ride a bike. Something they never will forget. Or to make a big D. Or teach them to respect themselves and others. Like not to hit. Because my children might cure the cancer you get one day. Or actually figure out how to create world peace and a greener universe. Or they might be fabulous parents (after they get degrees too) who teach more fantastic children who might cure cancer too.

Boring I may seem
, but I really think what I'm doing is important. Important isn't even good enough. Monumental. Even if I think I suck at it sometimes. Or need to yell less. I have a theory that one day my kids will be so rare that they had a mom who stayed home with them that their friends will be shocked. And then I will tell them how dang lucky they are. And to stop complaining about our one bathroom and just go pee outside if they have to. The boy I mean.

My house is never clean enough
so squint your eyes when you come in. I don't have any grand talents (besides maybe the ability to make friends). I don't have a etsy shop or a cool part-time job that I'd like that would stretch my brain, but I am helping create healthy foundations to these three little people who are going to bring wonderful things to the world. Hopefully just like my mom did for me.

I honestly don't think its going to be harder when we add one more...not that one is coming yet. Cause I thing we've transitioned to the easy phase of three now, and I'm starting to build a theory that only babies are hard. Definitely easier when they sleep 11 to 12 hours a night.

So when someone looks at me like I've missed out on something (like more money) or I don't have much to contribute in conversations at parties (unless they ask me about my kids), its okay, because I just think they are dumb. Cause they don't really know how much more amazing it is to do this think called mothering. That and perfecting the dinner roll. Vain isn't it? Who knew I was so arrogant? Please do not answer that.

But whatever phase you are in is great. We are all contributing to our little piece of the world. I hope not to scare you out of progressing to mine. Ironically, some of the women who I think would make the best mothers are not yet. Perspective is a luxury I wished I'd had with my first child. It will get easier. You will get sleep. You will feel confident at this job one day. You will be changed, but into a better you. Your kids will appreciate you, even if its not til they are 29 like I appreciate my mother more and more. They are lucky to have you even if they can't tell you that. And one day you will know it was all worth it. All that you gave of yourself. We all need a pep talk right? Even to ourselves.

And just because I've been toying with the idea of ceasing comments, please leave comments that will continue the discussion or expression feelings or something of the sort..


Beth said...

I think it's interesting that as moms we are always feeling like we need to defend our position (or choice to stay home). I am kind of over that (speaking for myself here). 2009 is all about embracing what I'm doing. I think part of it is that as women we compare ourselves to others A LOT - and I'm gonna try to not do that. What other people do is awesome. Their talents are awesome. So are their etsy shops or whatever... I will totally shop there. And what I do is also awesome, whether it's deciding to audition again, or getting a stain out of Audrey's PJs. It's just all about supporting each other as mothers, whether we work or stay home. Trying hard not to judge.

I love your perspective on having one, two, and three kids... although with my two I'm already too tired to go to a 10:30 movie. :) You work hard and you're a great mom with great kids.

Crazy Lady said...

i feel like i am embracing. but i recognize that it doesn't seem interesting to others, but i secretly think its the most important thing. did that come across?

i could always do less comparing though.

i always love what you have to say beth. i can always count on you to contribute to a discussion.

for 2009 is about eliminating unnecessary stress.

teresa said...

Being a Mom is the most important job in the world. Hands down. No questions.

My grandmother stopped by this week to help me out with something I felt so bad because my house was so messy (and I don't have kids, I've just been really busy with work). She said to stop feeling guilty. Sometimes we have to let certain things go to get other things done. She said when I have kids it's going to be even worse and won't get better until they start getting older. As they get older, your house will get a little cleaner. I love that she didn't say say "oh, it's not so bad, it looks fine, etc." I love that she was like, yeah, it's bad, who cares, you've got more important stuff going on. (Her house is always clean, by the way.)

Your blog is about your life and right now that is your kids, almost all of the time. I love hearing about what funny things, or sweet things, or even bad things your kids do.

Wow, this is turning into a pretty long comment. Sorry about that. Good post, it really made me think a lot.

Heather said...

Maybe it's because I don't have kids, but I find your stories very entertaining. It seems like there's never a dull moment. I love reading about the things you probably think are boring. I think some of it is the way you tell your stories. Maybe you are putting your degree to work in ways that you don't even realize.

Kira =] said...

first of all- Amen & Ditto (is that redundant?)

And I love reading your blog. It lets me know I'm not alone and it also gives me a glimpse into what kids are like when they are older and how to deal with them. =]

Maria said...

Thanks from a mom of one who left her career to raise this little one. You Rock!

aedozier said...

BRAVO! Well said! We all need to appreciate our role in the home, regardless of whether we are fortunate enough to stay at home or work. You sure made me think! I love that you said now is not our time, that it's our time to serve! I needed that after "serving" alone all weekend! Thanks Brooke!
Allyson Etheredge Dozier

Amberli said...

gotta get att to bed and can't leave a long thoughtful comment worthy of this post - but i loved it! all! thank you!

Laura said...

ditto. great great post. and you rock.

Bailey said...

These are my favorite posts of yours. Don't get me wrong your kids are darling and really funny. But I love when you open up your thoughts and feelings for discussion.

I love being a stay at home Mom. It is the most wonderful thing in the world to be home with Scout and to watch her learn and grow. Now that I have to pick up a part time job I recognize it more than ever. I do feel like as Mothers people see our lives as boring or that we are missing out on something. I do feel as though I have to defend myself more than I should. Hopefully in the not so distant future more people will understand what a wonderful thing it is to be a stay at home Mom. Thanks for the pep talk.

Tina W said...

Seriously, you think my job in healthcare is more interesting than your day with 3 kids? It's not. And, all that adult talk you're missing at work is all about the latest TV shows and not books anyway. But, a friend of mine downloads books to her ipod and can listen while she's cleaning and dealing with kids. She is smarter and more interesting than most of the people I work with.

However, I can go to a 6:00 movie any day I want. I have to have something that justifies my solo existence! :)

Sarah said...

Ah, Brooke, how I love to hear what you have to say. I really do. This post kind of goes back to the "discussion" we had going back and forth over email back when I posted my last "motherhood" post. I think you're theory on having 1, 2, or 3 kids is right. At least, I can relate to the 1 and 2 kids part, but I wouldn't have known it until I had perspective. You see, it seems you've reached that state of finding peace in the joy of motherhood. That's what I struggle with all the time. It's not that I don't have joyful days with my children or enjoy hanging out with them . . . it's just that I want to find that peace that I can feel everyday, even on the bad days. You have such good perspective on life and motherhood. I'm still learning and I'm watching those who are ahead of me and learning from them, like you.

uncle bobo said...

ahh you live in california, forget the single life. i was listening to some med school mothers complain this week about how they should be at home with their kids and i think they were wanting me to tell them they should stay in school.

uncle bobo said...

i hope in the future maybe i can hear one of the kids say they want to be a mom when they grow up. i'm like why would you want to be anything else?